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Showing posts from February, 2015

Campaign For A Worse Tomorrow

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So I've read The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, Wool, Inside Out, The Bone Season, and recently Laline Paull's novel "The Bees." For the most part I've enjoyed them - but how do they stack up against the work of classic dystopian writers such as George Orwell or Suzy McKee Charnas?

What's not missing is some quality writing, with strong characters and intense settings. I think the opposite is true, this is a real strength of the genre right now and it's very clear , if only from the sales figures, that these books have been ensnaring and captivating new readers. So what's missing?

1. Originality While there are a lot of original concepts in all of the above books, there are also a lot of unoriginal ones: like the walled city, the fascist police, the rigid caste system, the unfair division of wealth, the outcast hero and of course the love affair that spans all boundaries. It all makes a good literary drinking game to play at your book group, but the…

En-Turing Love [Review: The Imitation Game]

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The Imitation Game is a great example of cinematic Augmented Reality. I loved this film and, straight after watching it I was inspired to find out more about this interesting period in history. As I quickly found, there are several ways in which this movie improves on history, and several online articles fact-checking it. I'll point you to this one by an authority on Turing, it's very readable and the author agrees with me that the inaccuracies don't kill the movie. Incidentally this movie stars some guy or other as Turing, can't really remember who. He's quite good. I shouldn't wonder if he'll probably be appearing in some more films soon.
Augmented reality should be used for a reason. Adding a Communist spy to Turing's team adds some great dramatic moments in itself, but also dramatises the difficult relationship between the West and Russia during the war. Similarly, making Turing misanthropic rather than just shy, and making him fight with commander a…

"Steampunk Girl" Movie Poster

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Poster for the "Steampunk Girl" music video

"Steampunk Girl" Screening: St. Albans Film Festival

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I am absolutely thrilled to report that "Steampunk Girl," my lyric video for the song by John Anealio, is on the official selection at St. Albans Film Festival 2015. I loved being part of this festival in 2013 and am looking forward to this year's event. I'll post details of the screening as soon as they are available.

Take Me Out [Review: The Interview]

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I had fairly negative expectations of The Interview having read some not-so-great reviews. It also appears Kim Jong-Un himself isn't a fan, so maybe we aren't so different after all. I haven't spoken to him recently but I would guess that he took issue with the contrived plot most of all. Celebrity interviewer Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) discover Jong-Un is a fan of their show, so use this as leverage to arrange a once-in-a-lifetime interview, then the CIA crashes their party and asks them to kill him.

I can't deny this film is contrived, or that it relies heavily on lowbrow laughs, or for that matter that in a few places it could be seen as racist and misogynistic, although I've seen far more offensive comedies. It's also utterly without  redeeming social importance, lacking the self-critical irony of the far superior Team America: World Police. However I also can't deny that it's extremely funny, and in some…

Work In Progress: Redhead

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All of this will make sense soon... [produced in Blender 2.72]